Understanding the Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care

When a loved one needs extra help at home, it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide what’s the best kind of care they need. Families have several choices between home care and home health care for their family members. Although they may sound the same, each offers a unique set of skills to help people stay home and enjoy better health.


What is Home Care?

For many, it can be confusing to decipher what’s best for your family. Simply put, home care provides non-clinical care. This includes companionship, meal preparation, and supervision. You have a choice and different levels of care from meal preparation once a week to assistance several hours each day. Although home care workers are well-versed in the nuances of caring for senior citizens, they are not licensed to provide medical care.

Instead, they can provide transportation to and from medical appointments, meal preparation, light housekeeping duties, assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing companionship or cleaning and organizing. These professionals help maintain your loved one’s health at home, reduce hospitalization, and can reduce overall health care costs.

Your loved one may benefit from home care assistance if they’re active but require a little extra help to stay safely at home, such as seniors who:

  • May need help with cooking, cleaning and other household responsibilities
  • Would benefit from companionship as they feel isolated at home
  • Could use help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing


Who needs Home Health Care?

When a person gets home health care, they are receiving clinical care from a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech therapist. This type of care is usually prescribed by a physician after hospitalization or discharge from a rehabilitation center. The objective is to maintain health, continue their rehabilitation, and keep your loved one home.

Home health care is usually a short-term after a surgery or hospitalization but may also be prescribed to help manage a chronic condition. The specialized healthcare professional often provides services in a one-hour home visit for 30 to 60 days. The length of time can be extended when it’s medically necessary. Home health care is also known as visiting nurse services, Medicare-certified home health care, or intermittent skilled care.

Home health care staff work with your loved one’s doctor to create a plan of care to outline the anticipated services needed to reach and keep the best physical, mental, and social well-being. Individuals who may benefit from home health care services include people who:

  • Are recently discharged from a hospital, rehabilitation facility or skilled nursing unit
  • Have experienced an overall decline in function and would benefit from physical and occupational therapy to regain independence
  • Need to be monitored after a recent change in medications
  • Would benefit from specialized programs to reduce their risk of falling
  • Require added support to manage their chronic illness, such as COPD, heart failure or diabetes


Have Questions? Call Anodyne!

If you have questions about whether home care or home health care would benefit your loved one, our professionals at Anodyne are here to help. We can answer your questions, help you evaluate the situation, and check on your payment options. A trusted home care professional can help your peace of mind. And with Anodyne you’ll be speaking to a professional each time you pick up the phone – you’ll never speak to a machine. Call us today! We’ll help you identify options to keep your loved one home.